Scaling up the Hawai‘i Drought Knowledge Exchange: Expanding stakeholder reach and capacity to address climate change, variability, and drought

A very dry landscape with brown grassy hills and brown, dead trees
Drought has been a major landscape stressor for Hawaiʻi Island over the last couple decades. (Photo courtesy of Abby Frazier)

The Hawai‘i Drought Knowledge Exchange project has been successfully piloting three sets of formal collaborative knowledge exchanges between researchers and managers to co-produce customized, site specific drought data products to meet the needs of their partners. Through these pilots, knowledge co-production has demonstrated how active collaboration between researchers and managers in the design and production of data products can lead to more useful and accessible applications for drought planning and management.

Resource managers have strongly embraced the need for better and more timely information on climate change, variability and drought, as these stressors exert a large and costly impact on resources of interest. Additionally, more collaborations between scientists and managers are needed to effectively address drought on landscape scales in Hawai‘i. The main objective of this research is to streamline Hawai‘i Drought Knowledge Exchange activities so that a larger number of stakeholders can sustainably co-produce and engage site-specific drought related resources while growing a local Learning Network of fellow participating resource managers.

Building on the experiences from the ongoing Hawai‘i Drought Knowledge Exchange pilot, the specific objectives of this research are to: (1) streamline the process of drought knowledge co-production and exchange to support an expanded group of stakeholders; (2) continue to demonstrate four important aspects of a knowledge exchange: (i) Easier Access to Drought and Climate Information and Data Sources; (ii) Better and More Comprehensive Information; (iii) Improved Technical Assistance; and (iv) A More Collaborative Information Transfer Environment; and (3) co-produce site-specific climate syntheses for 10 new partner sites (including Department of Interior management units, state entities and Native Hawaiian land management units), relying on innovative templates developed during the pilot. This work will expand the coverage of Drought Knowledge Exchange-informed management in Hawai‘i and support the desire for a manager-focused drought Learning Network to improve the capacity of managers to learn from each other in planning for climate change, variability, and drought.





Christian Giardina
Research Ecologist, Inst. of Pacific Islands Forestry, US Forest Service


Abby Frazier
Research Fellow, East-West Center, UH Mānoa


Ryan Longman
East-West Center
Victoria Keener
East-West Center
Laura Brewington
East-West Center
Woody Mallinson
Haleakalā National Park
Thomas Cady
Kūaliʻi Camera
Department of Hawaiian Homelands
Cheyenne Perry
Mauna Kea Watershed Alliance
Clay Trauernicht
UH Mānoa
Thomas Giambelluca
UH Mānoa